Trump Approves Deal Between Oracle and TikTokSeptember 20, 2020
Under the agreement, ByteDance and its investors, which include the U.S.-based General Atlantic, Coatue Management and Sequoia Capital, would transfer some of their equity control into TikTok Global.
Still, exactly who would control the new entity remained unclear. Two people familiar with the matter said ByteDance would hold an 80 percent stake in TikTok Global. But because ByteDance is partly owned by non-Chinese investors, those investors would become indirect owners of TikTok Global, bumping up the U.S.-ownership stake and allowing the Trump administration to claim that the majority of the company is owned by Americans.
TikTok Global’s ownership would be made up of 53 percent American investors, a person familiar with the matter said, including the 20 percent stake held by Oracle and Walmart and existing American investments in ByteDance. A group of additional ByteDance investors — most of them based in Europe — would control 11 percent of the service, one of the people familiar with the discussions said. Chinese investors, primarily the ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming and its employees, would hold the rest, or about 36 percent.
“I have given the deal my blessing,” Mr. Trump told reporters outside the White House on Saturday. “If they get it done that’s great, if they don’t that’s fine too.”
In a statement, Monica Crowley, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, said that the president had reviewed the deal, but that the administration’s formal approval was still pending.
“Approval of the transaction is subject to a closing with Oracle and Walmart and necessary documentation and conditions to be approved by Cfius” she said, referring to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the national security panel overseen by Mr. Mnuchin that is reviewing the transaction.
Prominent senators of both parties have argued that a full sale of TikTok was necessary to ensure American security. But in his remarks outside the White House Saturday, the president suggested that the deal would fully address his administration’s national security concerns, saying that the “security will be 100 percent” and that the new companies would use a separate cloud from its Chinese parent.